Assassin's Creed 3 creative lead Alex Hutchinson said at a recent Ubisoft press event that the series needs to move on from its protracted modern day storyline about aggressively ordinary everyman Desmond Miles.
Hutchinson likened remembering what was going on in Desmond's story as recalling what happened in junior high during college.
"Things that go on too long lack resonance. We're asking people to remember seven years worth of story. Which is like saying you were in junior high and now you're finishing college. And you need to remember what you were doing in junior high," he explained in a report by Polygon.
"I think Desmond needs to end."
For the time being Hutchinson compares Desmond's framing structure to Rod Serling's intros in The Twilight Zone.
"It's more like the Twilight Zone. There's always a guy introducing it and he's there every episode, but each game completes its own story. Assassin's Creed one was Altair's story. Ezio has been and gone. You can engage with these historical stories individually without having to necessarily understand Desmond's story. But yes, we eventually do have to wrap it up."
He also compared the series to Star Trek with each numbered title being an entirely new self-contained spin-off in the same canon. "I always pitched it to the guys on this game to think of it almost like Star Trek. Each game is a season... each big number is a sub-title. We're not changing the universe, but we're being given the reigns to the equivalent of [Star Trek:] The Next Generation. Yes, it's the Star Trek universe, and that has certain immutable laws and there's a base kind of tone to it, but within that you can do whatever you want."
Hutchinson explained that Assassin's Creed 3 is as close as one could get to being a new IP without actually being one. He called it "90 per cent a new game," and noted the new protagonist, time period, story, setting and mechanics.
The upcoming Vita exclusive Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation will be the first game in the series not to feature the Nolan North-voiced Desmond. It will come out the same day as Assassin's Creed 3 on 23rd November.
For more information, we recently interviewed Hutchinson on the creation of Assassin's Creed 3, and Martin Robinson previewed the game in March, where he wrote "For a series that was in serious danger of flagging, it looks as if Assassin's has found the revolution it needed."